Sorry guys, this one might hurt a little. I’m gonna tell you a secret I’m pretty sure you’ve already guessed. I don’t want to get better. Okay, I do… but there are some days when I really don’t. Wanna know why? Well, here we go…
Context is always important
Bipolar is a chronic condition. The truth is that this will always be my life and while I won’t be depressed or hypomanic every day, I do have to live with the knowledge that it can (and probably will) happen again. This is never going to “heal” or get “all better.” It is simply a part of me that I have to live with.
So, why does that matter? It colors everything that I experience in my life. Instead of “Wow, I’m getting a lot done today!” I have “Oh god, is this a hypomanic episode?” Instead of “Man, I sure slept in today,” it’s “Crap, I didn’t wake up on time…am I getting depressed again?” I can’t make a single decision in my life without also judging it through the lens of my disorder. Frankly, it’s exhausting.
So, why don’t I want to get better?
The context above sure does make it seem like I should want to get better, doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t quite work like that. Sure, sometimes it really does make me wish I could heal and not live a life of fear and exhaustion. At the same time, it makes therapy and all seem a bit hopeless. After all, it’s not going away. Did you see that word – chronic? Defined as “continuing or occurring again and again for a long time” according to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary. That means it’s not going anywhere, so why bother trying to fix it?
Yeah, I know… the goal is to extend the time between episodes and make them easier to bear when I have them, but still. Feels like a lot of work for nothing. It’s not going to fix it.
The other part of it is that this is hard. I visit my therapist and spend my time digging up a bunch of stuff. Ultimately, I end up crying almost every time. It hurts. It hurts less than it used to because I’m kinda adjusted to it now, but it’s still hard. I go home, stewing over what he told me, and I get irritable with my family. Or I hide. Or I just mope and cry. Or…well, you get it. It’s not pretty, so why should I want to continue?
I know better. Deep down I understand that it’s all worth it. While I may never escape the burden of bipolar, I can minimize the damage. It’s hard, but it’s worth it just so I can come close to the life I want. So I’ll keep going, don’t you worry. I do think it’s important to recognize, though.
I also know I’m not alone in feeling like this. I know a lot of us are really scared to get that help because it hurts. The pain makes it hard to want to get better and honestly, it’s okay if you don’t always want to get better. As long as somewhere in you, you can remember why you try.
And I’ll tell you what…. if you’re ever struggling to remember why, you get in touch with me and I’ll be your cheerleader. I’ll help you remember. Heaven knows, I’ve needed someone to remind me, too (thanks, Eileen… <3).
P.S. Seriously…if you need someone to help keep you going, email me at email@example.com or get in touch with me on the Facebook page. And if you haven’t yet, join our community chat. I can guarantee you will meet other people who have been where you are and who want to help. I’ll talk to you soon!
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